With So Much Advice Available Why Do Accountants and Professionals Still Struggle In Job Interviews?

Do a Google search on the term “Best job interview tips” and you will discover there is no shortage of advice available.

In fact a search on that specific term will give you over 8million responses.

With so much advice available why do accountants and professionals still struggle in job interviews?

I believe there are several reasons.

Reason 1: The Knowledge Trap

By this I mean many accountants and professionals struggle because they focus on getting more knowledge.

Of course the real value comes from actually taking one piece of advice and implementing it.

Reason 2:  The Under Preparation Trap

This is a big one in my experience.  The decision to employ and accountant or other professional is a major investment decision.

Trouble is even accountants sometimes lose sight of this.  They don’t think to themselves that like any investment there has to be an ROI (Return on Investment).

As a result of this they don’t put in anything like enough preparation time ahead of the interview.

Reason 3: The Underselling Trap 

As an accountant or professional you have a lot to offer the organisation you are applying to work for.

The question you need to be asking yourself is whether you are actually selling yourself effectively.

I don’t mean bragging or boasting.  Simply talk confidently about:

  • What you have to offer.
  • Why what you offer would be of value to the hiring organisation.
  • The contribution you can make.

Armed with some of the reasons why you might be struggling in job interviews what action can you take:

Action 1: Apply what you learn

Yes it’s always good to deepen your knowledge.

When it comes to job interviews you probably know what you should do.  Make a point of applying that knowledge.

Action 2: Double or triple your preparation time

I’ve learned from my own informal research that about 60% of candidates spend 4 hours or less preparing for job interviews.

This gives them little or no chance of success.  Especially for a well paid role.

Action 3: Practice speaking positively about yourself and your achievements

Selling you may well not sit comfortably with you. 

The only way to get better is to practice ahead of interviews.  Audio record yourself, video yourself and do a mock interview.

The bottom line:  Job interviews will always be a challenge.  On the other hand they don’t need to be a struggle if you change your approach.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

In summary since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them achieve career success and become better leaders and presenters. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

Leave a Comment: